A funeral home in Aldergrove decided they needed to do something after
seeing so many heartbroken families lose loved ones to a drug
overdose. The funeral directors have put together an awareness and
prevention campaign that does aim to shock people about how deadly
In an unusual move, the BC Coroner's Office has come out against
Alternative Funeral and Cremation Service's awareness campaign, saying
scare tactics don't work, they only further stigmatize drug users.
While it's true the D.A.R.E. program and Just Say No hasn't been
successful in deterring youth from trying hard drugs, it likely did
impact a few kids here and there. And at this point in this fentanyl
epidemic - reaching anyone is better than doing nothing. It isn't
costing taxpayers anything.
[continues 180 words]
Langley vet says she treats at least one dog a month that ingests
In the last couple years, veterinarians have seen an increase in the
number of dogs that have ingested harmful drugs, mainly marijuana.
"We have seen a notable increase in the last few years of dogs coming
to the hospital having ingested pot. We get at least one per month,"
said Langley veterinarian, Dr. Renee Ferguson of Mountainview
"Unfortunately, it is becoming common that dogs eat pot or drugs while
out on a walk or at a park," she said.
[continues 409 words]
With the release of a 106-page federal task force report, the possibility
of legalizing marijuana inches closer to reality
Legalizing marijuana in Canada - once passed off as a pipe dream - appears
to be gaining traction.
And in the wake of a 106-page report drafted by a federal task force on
legalized recreational marijuana, advocates aren't just blowing smoke.
The study containing more than 80 recommendations gives shape to a Liberal
promise to the legalize recreational pot consumption and sales, with
safeguards in place to restrict youth access and choke off the illicit
market that fuels criminal enterprises.
[continues 1135 words]
Editor: Conservative MP Mark Warawa illustrates problems with cannabis
(marijuana) prohibition - Are Langley And Canada Going To Pot? (the Times,
Jan. 20) - and their failed logic.
While responsible adults may purchase a truckload of whiskey, they're
concerned with approximately one ounce of plant material that hasn't
killed anyone in over 5,000 years of documented use.
As expected, 30 grams of cannabis may be worth $300 or more on the black
market while it is illegal, however, Colorado has proven the price of
re-legalized and regulated cannabis may be reduced by 50 per cent.
Why would anyone want to force the black market to regulate (always
available) cannabis rather than force government to do its job?
Editor: In 2016, British Columbians faced the public health emergency that
is the overdose crisis.
As of Nov. 30, 755 people in our province had died last year due to an
overdose - 259 of those deaths occurring in the Fraser Health region.
That's 259 sons, daughters, partners and friends who have lost their lives
to an issue that has impacted our society at all levels.
In our region of 1.8 million people, the overdose crisis has touched all
of our communities.
[continues 440 words]
Dr. Ingrid Tyler, the lead medical health officer at Fraser Health
dealing with harm reduction and the fentanyl crisis, says the best way
to save the life of a person who has overdosed on the deadly drug is
to give them breaths, through mouth-to-mouth CPR.
A fentanyl overdose causes the victim to stop breathing, so providing
air is essential to saving lives, said Tyler.
However, giving CPR to someone who is overdosing comes with its own
serious set of risks to the person administrating the life-saving
technique, she warned.
[continues 560 words]
Alex Wilkinson and Preston Pearce both had infectious smiles, lots of
friends and family who deeply loved them. As well, they both graduated
from Walnut Grove Secondary.
What the two also had in common, tragically, is that they both died at
19 from a drug overdose.
Family and friends of the two WGSS alumni have made a powerful video
that can be seen on Youtube (WGSS Drug Awareness Video - We Are a
In the video, Alex's younger sister, Grace, speaks about her brother,
saying he was always looking after her, was goofy and "the best big
[continues 372 words]
By the end of October, more than 620 people in B.C. had died from drug
overdoses in 2016. That's up markedly from the 397 deaths in the same
10 months of 2015.
Of those who died this year, 332 (roughly 60 per cent) fatalities came
as a result of the additive fentanyl.
Those are the most recent numbers available to us and they have no
doubt climbed even higher during the past six weeks.
For today's four-story series Dying to get high, reporter Monique
Tamminga spoke with some of the the people who are dealing with the
fallout of illegal drug use and overdose deaths in Langley.
[continues 222 words]
Drug interventionist Andy Bhatti, a former heroin user himself, said
addicts need more access to immediate treatment and to methadone if
lives are going to be saved.
"There is a two-to three-month wait for a publicly-funded treatment
beds and private treatment can cost up to $7,500 a month," said Bhatti.
He's sending some of his clients to Thailand to a high-end treatment
centre that costs less than half that amount. He claims there is a
full-time psychologist there as well as other therapies.
[continues 763 words]
As a funeral director in Aldergrove, John Romeyn organizes three to
four funerals a month for families who have lost a loved one to fentanyl.
"A father I sat with a while ago, between sobs of grief, said to me,
'I promised to take my daughter shopping for an outfit to wear for her
graduation. . . . now I have to decide what she will wear in her casket.'
"I sit across the table from these families and they are heartbroken,
they have lost everything. I made a promise that I have to do
something," he said.
[continues 835 words]
Unlimited distribution, but no pick-up
As part of its harm reduction strategy, Fraser Health offers an
unlimited supply of needles to intravenous drug users. But the local
health authority does not recover those needles once they've been used
- - a fact which has become more evident in Langley parks, streets, at
the doorways of businesses and on trails and even school grounds
throughout the Township and City.
A sharps disposal box and its spilled contents was found near the
Cascades Casino parkade recently, and a needle stabbed into the grass
at Douglas Park was pictured from August on the Langley City Crime
Watch Facebook page.
[continues 467 words]
Editor: Regarding "A Taste of his own medicine" (the Times, Aug 5)
front page article regarding Randy Caine.
Please do not glorify this disease. It is no surprise that a long
time marijuana smoker is diagnosed with lung cancer. Smoking anything
long-term causes lung cancer, and the prognosis is never good.
Randy Caine regained the use of his left hand because of conventional
treatment, ie: radiation and chemotherapy.
The return of his sense of taste and the regrowth of his hair,
happens to everyone, not just cannabis users.
This man ingested a toxic drug for years and he is paying the price.
Your story made it sound like marijuana is a wonder drug.
It is not.
Medical marijuana advocate battles cancer with cannabis
At first, he thought it was a shoulder injury.
When the pain in his left shoulder started, Randy Caine thought his
days working in construction had caught up with him.
"I thought I had a rotator cuff injury."
Then, in June of last year, Caine noticed a lump on his
It was lung cancer, what is known as a Pancoast tumor, a slow-moving
growth that had spread into nearby muscles and bone.
[continues 640 words]
Under current rules, firefighters have to wait for a doctor's
permission to administer naloxone
Langley City firefighters won't carry the anti-overdose drug naloxone,
even though the department is seeing an increase in related medical
City Fire Chief Rory Thompson told the April 4 meeting of City council
that if the current numbers hold, Langley Fire Rescue will have
handled 240 to 260 overdose cases this year, compared to 80 last year.
Much of that, Chief Thompson said, is because of fentanyl, an
extremely powerful synthetic painkiller that is up to 100 times more
potent than morphine.
[continues 273 words]
While "medical marijuana dispensaries" are as ubiquitous as coffee
shops in downtown Vancouver, municipal governments in the Fraser
Valley are nipping these operations in the bud.
Dave Smith and four other directors of the Motacan Compassion Society
opened their doors on 271 Street in downtown Aldergrove on February 1
and within days received a letter from Bull & Hauser, the solicitors
for the Township of Langley, demanding that they cease operations by Feb. 29.
Smith says Motacan's directors "are trying to follow the regulations
and rules" and have tried to talk to the Township staff and council
about how they could meet those requirements, but "no one will talk
to us, they all refer us to the lawyers (Bull & Hauser)."
[continues 391 words]
Legal Battle Over Health Canada Licences Makes It Impossible to Relocate
The owner of a medicinal marijuana grow-op in a Walnut Grove
residential neighbourhood is following all applicable safety and
ventilation regulations, said Township manager of bylaw enforcement
That was the outcome of an inspection ordered after people living
next to the house where the grow-op is located complained to the
Township in August.
Storie told The Times that the owner of the facility is unable to
move to another location because Health Canada has stopped issuing
new medicinal marijuana growing licences.
[continues 355 words]
Imagine if the house next door to you was growing mushrooms or
potatoes or some other kind of agricultural crop in the basement.
Imagine that there were times when you could smell the odor of
fertilizer wafting over the fence.
If you lived in a residential neighbourhood, you might be unhappy
about that. You might complain that a house should not be used as a
And if you were told the person has a legal right to do what they were
doing, you might get upset, just as some people in a Langley
neighbourhood became indignant when they found out a house on their
street is running a legal grow-op, and that very little can be done
[continues 323 words]
Walnut Grove House With a Legal Marijuana Grow-Op Frustrates Neighbours
Frustrated residents of a Walnut Grove neighbourhood say they would
have been better off with an illegal grow-op instead of the licensed
medicinal marijuana growing operation that operates out of a house on
Because the owner of the house has a Health Canada licence to grow
the marijuana, neither the Langley RCMP or the Township of Langley
bylaw enforcement office can close it down.
It has been a maddening experience for Margaret and her husband Paul,
who live on one side of the grow-op, while Chris and Elizabeth live
on the other (For safety reasons, The Times is not using their last
names nor divulging their addresses).
[continues 608 words]
Two-thirds of British Columbians surveyed endorse marijuana legalization
B.C. has a strong appetite for marijuana reform with more than 70 per
cent of respondents to a new poll urging either legalization or
The Insights West survey found 67 per cent said they support outright
legalization, 28 per cent opposed it and five per cent were undecided.
Support was slightly stronger among women, the under-35 age group and
Vancouver Island residents, but at least 65 per cent back
legalization in every region and within each age group.
[continues 419 words]
The debate in Langley City over the number of pharmacies which have
set up shop is actually part of a larger debate involving the use of
drugs in society - legal, illegal, tested, patented and perhaps
somewhere in between.
In Vancouver, council has approved legalizing medicinal marijuana
dispensaries. These have popped up in that city on many corners, and
because they exist in a gray zone, with medicinal marijuana legal, but
only available from federally-approved sellers, the business is
In Langley City, council has been unable to limit the number of
pharmacies setting up shop. They operate legal businesses, and because
many of them dispense methadone, which is a legal drug, some people
think there is a link to criminal activity. That has yet to be proven.
[continues 175 words]